Simultaneous dysregulation of multiple microRNAs (miRs) affects various pathological pathways related to cardiac failure. In addition to being potential cardiac disease-specific markers, miR-23b/27b/24-1 were reported to be responsible for conferring cardiac pathophysiological processes. In this study, we identified a conserved guanine-rich RNA motif within the miR-23b/27b/24-1 cluster that can form an RNA G-quadruplex (rG4) in vitro and in cells. Disruption of this intragenic rG4 significantly increased the production of all three miRs. Conversely, a G4-binding ligand tetrandrine (TET) stabilized the rG4 and suppressed miRs production in human and rodent cardiomyocytes. Our further study showed that the rG4 prevented Drosha-DGCR8 binding and processing of the pri-miR, suppressing the biogenesis of all three miRs. Moreover, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated G4 deletion in the rat genome aberrantly elevated all three miRs in the heart in vivo, leading to cardiac contractile dysfunction. Importantly, loss of the G4 resulted in reduced targets for the aforementioned miRs critical for normal heart function and defects in the L-type Ca2+ channel-ryanodine receptor (LCC-RyR) coupling in cardiomyocytes. Our results reveal a novel mechanism for G4-dependent regulation of miR biogenesis, which is essential for maintaining normal heart function.
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.